Fonds MSS 279 (A.08-144) - Janet Reimer fonds

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Janet Reimer fonds

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  • Textual record

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CA UMASC MSS 279 (A.08-144)

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  • 2000 (Creation)
    Reimer, Janet

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0.03 m of textual records.

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Biographical history

Janet Reimer gave birth to twin boys, Brian and Bruce, in 1965 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Due to a urinary tract issue, Bruce received an irreparably damaging circumcision which severely burned his penis. At the behest of doctors in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins University, Janet was advised to raise Bruce as a girl. The controversial medical decision to promote nurture vs. nature through sex-assignment received its first trial in Bruce’s childhood. Bruce was raised as Brenda until the age of fourteen when Janet and her husband, Ron, revealed the nature of his upbringing. In 1980, Brenda pursued a male lifestyle as David Reimer, and eventually underwent an operation to restore his male genitalia. David was married in 1990 and raised three children. After many years of silence and anonymity, David gave an interview to writer John Colapinto about his childhood which appeared in magazines and was extended by Colapinto in his biography of David, As Nature Made Him, in 2000. After separating from his wife and the death of his brother Brian, David committed suicide at the age of 38 in May of 2004

Custodial history

The fonds was donated to University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections by Janet Reimer in November 2008.

Scope and content

The fonds contains textual records relating to the interview schedule held by David Reimer and John Colapinto. The fonds also contains the original manuscript of As Nature Made Him by Colapinto, including a personal thank-you to David as well as editing notations.

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